The 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is considered by many observers in Châteauneuf du Pape to be the wine of the vintage, and it can most certainly be counted among the finest. A blend of 80% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre tipping the scales at 15.5% natural alcohol (which is slightly less than the Chaupin), the wine has an inky black/purple color as well as incredible density and richness, with notes of soy, blackberry, and blueberry liqueur, incense, acacia flowers and licorice. The layered, full-bodied mouthfeel displays no heat, but the wine has massive concentration and a silky, smooth finish. Because of the low acidity in the 2009s, and sweet tannins, this has turned out to be a glorious example of Châteauneuf du Pape to drink over the next two decades. (RP)
More smoky and dark fruited than the Cuvée Chaupin, the 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, from four separate parcels of varying soil types, possesses the same level of freshness and purity. A blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre, and 2% assorted varieties, with 25% of the blend aged in small barrels (40% of which are new) and the rest in vat, it exhibits an absolutely thrilling array of blackberry, licorice, roasted meats, dark chocolate, and smoke aromas on the nose. While there’s serious ripeness here, it stays amazingly fresh and vibrant, never seeming thick of heavy. Every bit as solid on the palate, this full-bodied, powerful, yet elegant Châteauneuf-du-Pape is unctuously textured and possesses a seamless, silky profile, with masses of sweet tannin on the finish. Unquestionably one of the top 2 or 3 wines in ’09, this can be consumed now, or cellared for a decade or longer. Thrilling stuff and hats off to Sabon family!
(85% grenache, with mourvedre and syrah): Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. A complex, intensely perfumed bouquet displays scents of black and blue fruits, incense and anise, with bright overlay of smoky minerality. Rich as well as vibrant, with impressive depth and energy to its blackberry and cherry compote flavors. Closes on a spicy note, with excellent clarity and resonating spiciness. (JR)
Very tightly wound, with cassis, black licorice and plum sauce notes held in check by velvety but copious tannins. Plenty of spice, graphite and tar flesh out the finish, which is racy and very long, with a great buried black tea note. Should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2014 through 2024. 125 cases imported. (JM)
Dark, big, bold and brawny. This seems to be a rugby player throwing its muscles around. Pretty impressive really! Lots of sweet spice and the alcohol is (just) kept in check. In this instance there is enough fruit in the middle. Some life and real vitality. Good stuff. Long. 18/20 points (JR)
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